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Review: Elton John at the Broadmoor World Arena

March 17, 2017 Updated: March 17, 2017 at 6:04 pm
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Elton John performs Thursday, March 16, 2017, at The Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Someone saved my life tonight, sugar bear.

It was Elton John and his band, performing some of my (and everyone's) all-time favorite songs at The Broadmoor World Arena to an enthusiastic and adoring sold-out crowd.

John, who turns 70 this month, showed no signs of slowing down as he sang in a voice that sounded every bit as strong and resonant as it did several decades ago. This is one senior citizen who can still belt out a tune.

When John and his band took the stage about 8:10 p.m., the crowd roared to its feet. Bedecked in a black coat with tails adorned with a glimmering red sequined rose on the back and red trim, wearing his signature dark amber glasses, John kicked off the evening with "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding." He stopped briefly to smile and greet the crowd, and then said "It smells like skunk in here" of the jam-packed, warm and visibly hazy venue.

The five members of his band - in suits, ties and occasional fedora - chuckled and smiled. All was right as he moved on to favorites "Bennie and the Jets," "Daniel," "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues" and, of course, "Someone Saved My Life Tonight."

Colorado Springs was just one stop on John's "Wonderful Crazy Night Tour," which is headed to Bakersfield, Calif., on Saturday and next to Brazil, Argentina and Chile before returning to the U.S.

John played just two songs from his 2016 "Wonderful Crazy Night" album: The upbeat "Looking Up" and the lovey-dovey "A Good Heart." Much of the crowd stayed on its feet for these new songs, and many sang along.

The album is John's 33rd. The rock icon boasts sales of more than 250 million albums and more than 50 Top 40 hits.

For the overwhelming majority of the concert, Sir Elton happily gave the crowd what it wanted, playing many of his beloved hits, including "Philadelphia Freedom." In between songs, he stood up from the bench of his Yamaha grand piano, smiled and said "thank you" repeatedly. He'd turn 360 degrees so as not to leave out the folks seated behind the stage.

John's energy was high, and it was obvious to me that being on stage and entertaining is his calling. The consummate entertainer who has been playing and singing onstage for five decades last performed at the World Arena in 2009.

The audience, in modern fashion, had their cellphones out for the event, taking photos, video and selfies. There was dancing and swigging of cocktails and beer. This concert was a lot of fun.

John is certainly still standing, just like his 1983 hit. He talks about leaving the touring life to spend more time with his two sons, Zachary and Elijah, and his husband and partner of 20 years, David Furnish. But John doesn't seem to be slowing.

It was indeed a wonderful, crazy night. And Sir Elton John is a pro - a rock legend through and through.

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